Recently, there’s been a growing trend toward performing procedures such as face lifts and breast augmentations under local anesthesia combined with a sedative instead of using general anesthesia. Is this practice of ‘awake’ plastic surgery safe—or even a good idea?
It might sound crazy to think of having plastic surgery while you’re awake, but some people are reluctant to go under general anesthesia for a number of reasons, and view awake plastic surgery as a viable alternative. However, it’s easy to forget that there are very good reasons that the majority of surgeons perform complex surgical procedures—aesthetic or otherwise—under general anesthesia.
When put to sleep, the patient remains still during surgery and muscles stay relaxed rather than tense, plus there’s better control over autonomous functions like breathing and circulation. From the patient’s perspective, there’s also a definite advantage in favor of remembering nothing about surgery, and simply waking up to have your procedure behind you, and the excitement of seeing your final results still ahead.
Not every plastic surgeon is on board with the idea of awake plastic surgery. At Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Daniel does perform some smaller procedures in-office under local anesthetic, like upper blepharoplasty, scar revision, earlobe repair and minor liposuction, but otherwise isn’t in favor of performing more involved cosmetic surgery while the patient is awake.
No matter which type of anesthesia is being used, be sure to always choose a plastic surgeon with the best combination of board-certification and experience to ensure you are safe and get the best results possible.